From the Constitution
Section 1 – The Doctrine of the Bible
We believe in the Bible as the verbally (every word) and plenary (completely) inspired Word of God and that it was written inerrant in its original languages. All portions of Scripture are equally inspired and contain no contradiction. The Holy Bible has God as its Author (2 Peter 1:21); salvation for its end (2 Timothy 3:15); and truth for its matter (Proverbs 30:5-6). The Scriptures are our only rule for faith and practice, the supreme standard by which all conduct, creeds, associations, and ministries should be tried (1 John 4:1). The canon, the sixty-six books of the Bible, is complete. Nothing shall be added to it nor taken from it (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 1:1; Revelation 22:18-19). We believe the King James Version of the Scriptures has been translated from the best manuscripts, and its English is that used at the time the English language and literature had reached its zenith in power and expression.
Section 2 – The Doctrine of God
We believe there is one, and only one, living and true God. He is an infinite, intelligent, and personal Being; a perfect Spirit, who is the Creator, Preserver, Sustainer, and Supreme Ruler of the universe; inexpressibly glorious in holiness (Exodus 15:11); worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love (Mark 1:20). The Godhead exists eternally in three persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one God, having precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfections; and are worthy of precisely the same homage, confidence, and obedience (Genesis 1:1; 1:25; John 1:1; John 14:16-17; 1 Timothy 3:16).
Section 3 – The Doctrine of Jesus Christ
We believe in the essential deity and virgin birth of our Lord Jesus Christ; that He was begotten by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, not having human father, and He is true God and true man; that He is man’s only hope of salvation from sin, being the only mediator between God and man; that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day for our sins according to the Scriptures; that His return for His Church, the body of Christ, which He will take with Himself into Heaven, is imminent; and that He will come to this earth to set up His millennial reign (Isaiah 7:14; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-4; 10:30; 14:6; 1 Timothy2:5-6; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 20:4-6).
Section 4 – The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit
We believe the Holy Spirit to be coequal with the Father and with the Son. He is a person. He came to this earth as the fulfillment of Christ’s promise. He convicts, regenerates, indwells, seals, infills, empowers, and guides the believer (John 16:7-13; John 3:3-5; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Ephesians 1:13-14; 5:18).
Section 5 – The Doctrine of Man
We believe that God created man in His own image by the special act of God (Genesis 1:27 and 2:7). Man was created in a state of holiness; but through the temptation of Satan, he voluntarily transgressed and fell from his holy state (Genesis 3:1-24). The consequence of this fall is that mankind is born with a sinful nature (Romans 5:19; Psalm 51:5).This sinful nature is evidenced by sinful acts. We believe that man is totally depraved; and if he is not born again, he is lost (Genesis 1:26-27; Jeremiah17:9; Luke 16:23; Romans 3:10-23; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22; Revelation 20:11-15; Revelation 21:8).
Section 6 – The Doctrine of Salvation
We believe that a person is saved when he repents of sin and exercises faith by accepting Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. Below we list particular matters concerning salvation.
We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ (John 1:16) secures to such as believe in Him is Justification (Acts 13:39); that Justification includes the pardon of sin (Romans 5:9), and the promise of eternal life on the principles of righteousness (Romans 5:17); that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood (Romans 4:4, 5); by virtue of which faith His perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us of God (Romans 5:19; that it brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God, and secures every other blessing needful for time and eternity (Romans 5:1, 2).
Concerning the Basis of Salvation
The basis of our salvation is the precious blood of Christ according to 1 Peter 1:18-19: “Forasmuch as ye know ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb, without blemish and without spot.” We are saved by Christ’s death, but the Bible teaches it was necessary that His saving death had to be by the shedding of His blood.
Concerning the Way of Salvation
The salvation of man is only by the grace of God and not by works which man can do (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5).
When a person places his faith in Jesus Christ as the One who paid the penalty for sin, that person is regenerated (born again – John 3:3). This means he has a new life and that his life should be changed so that works which glorify God will be manifested through his life (2 Corinthians 5:17). Believers are regenerated by the Holy Spirit, using the Word of God (1 Peter 1:23 and Titus 3:5-6).
Concerning Repentance and Faith
We believe that repentance and faith are inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God. In Acts 20:21 Paul stated that his ministry was one of “Testifying both to the Jews and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Biblical saving faith requires Biblical repentance. Saving faith requires that we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy, at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as the only and all-sufficient Savior (Luke 13:3-5; Luke 18:13; Romans 10:9-10).
Concerning the Scope of Our Salvation
We believe the scope of salvation includes forgiveness of all our sins – past, present, and future; a perfect standing before God as in Jesus Christ; and the changing of our earthly body to be conformed like unto the body of our Lord at His return for His own.
Concerning the Freeness of Salvation
We believe that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel (Isaiah 55:1); that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a cordial, penitent, and obedient faith (Romans 16:25, 26); and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth (John 5:41) but his own inherent depravity and voluntary aggravated condemnation (John 3:19).
Concerning God’s Purpose of Grace
We believe that election is the eternal purpose of God according to which He graciously regenerates, sanctifies, and saves sinners (2 Timothy 1:8-9); that being perfectly consistent with the free agency of men, it comprehends as well as embraces all the means in connection with the end (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14); that it is a most glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, being infinitely free, wise, holy, and unchangeable (Exodus 33:18-19); that it utterly excludes boasting, and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in God, and active imitation of His free mercy (1 Corinthians 4:7); that it encourages the use of means in the highest degree (2 Timothy 2:10); that it may be ascertained by its effects in all who truly believe the gospel (1 Thessalonians 1:4-10); that it is the foundation of Christian assurance (Romans 8:28-31); and that to ascertain it with regard to ourselves demands and deserves the utmost diligence (2 Peter 1:10-11).
We believe that sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of His holiness (1 Thessalonians 4:3); that it is a progressive work (Proverbs 4:18); that it is begun in regeneration (1 John 2:29); and that it is carried on in the hearts of believers throughout their earthly life, by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Sealer and Comforter, in the continual use of the appointed means, especially the Word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer (Philippians 2:12-13).
Concerning the Filling of the Spirit
We believe that the filling of the Spirit in a believer’s life is manifested by that person’s willingness to be under the control of the Spirit and thus to be obedient to the Word of God. We do not believe that speaking in tongues is a primary manifestation of the fullness of the Spirit as it is taught and espoused by the charismatic movement. We believe that tongues were a sign in the early church and the gift ceased after the completing of the canon of Scripture (1 Corinthians 13:8-10).
Concerning the Security of the Believer
We believe that every true believer has eternal life (John 3:16; 3:36; 5:24; 6:47) and that he is kept by the power of God (1 Peter 1:9). God gives eternal life to the believer, and he shall never perish (John 10:28-29).
Section 7 – Doctrine of the Church
We believe that the local church is composed of:
a. A local group of believers who are autonomous and self-governing, with no ecclesiastical organization in authority over them.
b. Believers who are baptized by immersion.
c. Believers who meet regularly for fellowship, worship, and Bible study.
d. Believers who observe the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
e. Believers who carry out the Great Commission (1 Corinthians 12:13; Acts 2; 1 Corinthians 16:19; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Acts 2:41, 47; Hebrews 10:25; 1 Corinthians 12; 1 Corinthians 11:23-24; Matthew 28:18-20).
We believe the only Scriptural officers of a local church are Bishops (or Pastors or Elders) and Deacons (Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1, 8). The titles Bishop, Elder, and Pastor in the New Testament refer to the different functions of the same office.)
Section 8 – Doctrine of Satan and Fallen Angels
We believe that Satan is a person. He is a created being who sinned and became the arch-enemy of God and His creation. He is the chief adversary of God’s children. He seeks to keep man from the Lord; and when he cannot succeed in this, he seeks to weaken the testimony of Christians. He has at his command a great host of fallen angels and demons to carry out his purposes. He is not omnipotent and can be overcome by the power of God. His doom is sealed in the Lake of Fire forever and ever (Ezekiel 28:12-19; Isaiah 14:12-14; Revelation 12:10, and 20:10).
Section 9 – Doctrine of Last Things
We believe there will be a resurrection of all – first, the just at the coming of Jesus Christ, and finally, the unjust after the Millennium. The saints are raised to be forever with the Lord, and the unsaved will be confined for eternity in the Lake of Fire. We believe in the “Blessed Hope”, which is the personal, bodily, pretribulational, premillennial, and imminent return of our Lord and Savior for His Church (the Rapture) and His later return to the earth in power and glory with His saints to set up His Kingdom (the Millennium) – John 14:1-3; Acts 1:9, 11; Acts 24:15; 1 Corinthians 15:3-20; Philippians 3:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1-2; Revelation 21:1-8.
Section 10 – Doctrine of Separation
We believe that God commands Christians to be a separated people according to 2 Corinthians 6:17, 18 and 7:1: “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty”. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” The Harmony Baptist Church of Waterford will be separated from all forms of apostasy and religious inclusivism. We reject the ecumenical movement, joining all churches into one body regardless of doctrine or practice; and the Charismatic renewal movement, with its unscriptural emphasis on tongues and healing. The Harmony Baptist Church of Waterford will enjoy fellowship with churches of like faith and order, but will have no part in any council of churches that is ecumenical in nature and thrust. We believe Christians are to be personally separated from all worldly practices that hinder spiritual growth and stability. We believe that God’s people should not love the world or the things that are in the world (1 John 2:15-16).
Section 11 – Doctrine of Christian Practice
The Harmony Baptist Church of Waterford believes that a Christian should live a holy life, be separated from the world, and maintain a testimony consistent with the New Testament. We also believe that by the power of the Holy Spirit, we all should walk together in Christian love, strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness, and godliness; hold a conviction that Christianity is a way of life and therefore should be propagated through Bible-centered and Christ-centered Christian schooling; promote the prosperity and spirituality of this church; sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines; contribute cheerfully; and regularly support the church with our tithes and offerings so that the ministry is supported, expenses are met, the poor are helped, and the gospel is spread through all nations. This church encourages all of our members to maintain family and private devotions; to rear the children with Christian education from early childhood through twelfth grade and then encourage the attending of a Christian college; to seek the salvation of kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; to be zealous in our effort to win souls to Christ; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; and to abstain from the sale and use of intoxicating drink as a beverage, and from the improper sale and use of narcotics. We further encourage each member to show brotherly love toward one another; to remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation and mindful of the rules of our Savior, to secure it without delay. Should the will of God direct any to move from this area, we encourage each, as soon as possible, to unite with some other church of like faith and practice and thereby continue living a testimony for Christ and living the principles of God’s Word.